Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Uneasy Does It

"I do everything I can to disrupt my comfort zone." Brian Grazer, film producer

My first entrepreneurial venture started in the fall of 1983. I was 14 years old, had just made my high school's freshman cheer squad, and I was asked by a "cheerleader mom" to coach her daughter for the following Spring's tryouts. I had never considered cheering as a job opportunity before, and at the time, I was thinking about trying to hostess at the local Bennigan's.

Was I good enough? Could I promise this woman's 10-year old that she would have a real shot at making her elementary school squad? Could I put my own personal reputation on the line? My father said, "I know how you're feeling. But if you want to be successful in life, you'll have to get used to this feeling. This is risk. And if you ever want to take big steps in your career, you'll have to get used to risk."

Some things to consider before you decide to leave corporate life:
1. You feel a need to fulfill an ambition to create and develop something of your own.
2. You've been frustrated and limited over the years, feeling forced into a hierarchical structure.
3. You want to grow into a new area.
4. You can subsist without a steady income.
5. You have a sugar-daddy client.
6. You have a sturdy stomach and can take the terror of an un-ringing phone.
7. You can leave your current situation without burning bridges.

Little did I know at 14 that earning $50 bucks an hour for the private coaching of one little girl would turn into almost a hundred girls by the time I left for college. All of their mothers happily paying me upwards of $80 an hour and all of the daughters making their squads. I guess that leads me to end with...

8. You can handle controlling your own destiny and all the money that flows to those who take the risk.

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